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New drive for a life as a farmer

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New drive for a life as a farmer

My name is Valbona and I’m a dairy farmer. I’m married and the mother of four children. My family and I live in Komoran, a village in Kosovo. We kept a herd of cattle before we emigrated to Germany. We had six or seven beef cattle and produced 700 kilos of meat a year. But we had problems keeping our farm going. We didn’t have the right agricultural machinery to produce enough feed for the cattle. We came to realise that we couldn’t make a success of the farm. So we decided to go to Germany in the hope of a better life.

My husband had already spent 15 years living in Germany before. When we arrived in Germany, we thought he could continue where he left off. But that wasn’t the case. I was separated from my husband and kept being housed in different accommodation. That wasn’t a nice experience. I came back in the end, but my husband stayed in Germany for another two years. I’d never have left home if I’d known how things would turn out.

Valbona at work in her cowshed.

Machinery urgently required

In Kosovo we had to start all over again. I didn’t take advantage of any kind of government help – partly because I wasn’t aware of any help that was available. I started over again under my own steam with cattle farming, with four beef cattle and two dairy cows. We also built a new house. Things were still very difficult for us though without machinery.

I was really fortunate to come into contact with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Initiative for Agricultural Development in Kosovo (IADK). This gave me the chance to buy a tractor, a combine harvester, a milking machine and other agricultural machinery. Obviously this makes my work a lot easier. Training courses also taught me how to get the most out of my land and produce enough feed for the animals.

The farmer enjoying her work in the fields.

My work is exhausting, but it's very rewarding. I’m outside in the fresh air all day long and I have my children around me. I provide them with good, natural food and I can send them to school.

As of: 07/2021

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My work is exhausting, but it's very rewarding.

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